Google Webmaster Tools: A resource for content providers

Monday, October 30, 2006 at 4:51 PM

By Anita Yuen, Webmaster Tools Team

A few months ago, my sister started a small online business, Bumblebee Linens, to sell handkerchiefs and linens. Once she finished her website, the first things she focused on were advertising and getting her site and products on Google search results. She used AdWords, posted her products onto Google Base, and submitted a Google Sitemap to tell us about all the URLs on her site and got a lot of great traffic. Thinking that she had done everything she could do, she asked me a bunch of questions like, How can more of my products and pages get found in the search results? How can I improve my site's ranking in the search results?

You may have asked the same questions, so I thought I would share with you what I told her. There's Google Webmaster Tools, a free and easy way to find out information about how Google is crawling and ranking your site. You can find tools that analyze your pages to figure out what terms people are using to link to you, show the top queries driving traffic to your site, find the PageRank, and see what pages are included in the Google index. You (and my sister) can also find if there were any errors in crawling your pages. All you have to do is add and verify your site. Simple enough that even my non-techie sister can get the basic information she needs. She then works with her webmaster to make any necessary changes. Since I'm not always around to answer all of her questions, I also suggested that she check out the Webmaster Help Center and subscribe to the Webmaster Central Blog to find out the latest updates.

But don't take my word, or my sister's growing linen sales, as your proof. Visit Google Webmaster Tools for yourself. You may know all about your site -- now see how well Google knows it.